Go after the starting cover bonus then. They already beat axis mainlines at long and medium range out of cover, there's no reason they need a cover bonus on top of that. You can give it back to them either through vet or tech, backloading some of the early power so you can actually give them some proper midgame tools.
Expand the stock roster to actually have some midgame offensive tools. Open up the AEC and Bofors into actual side techs that unlock multiple units and/or upgrades. They need mobile arty in some form and better CQC. You can even leave one side of this tree open to start giving them their defensive tools back if they so choose. (Trenches, cover bonus, etc)
Its no secret they aren't well liked as is. People hate playing against them and find them boring to play. Given how common these sentiments are, its incredibly frustrating to see a balance patch that once again doesn't even pretend its trying to fix their problems.
Ok but is anything about them actually going to be fixed?
Like how hard do Brit players have to scream about their toolkit before something improves?
Nobody denies that it's best in class and that it outguns the stock P4s, both. While statistically it is superior, the superiority is not that big. Going vs OKW P4, E8 will win most of the time (unless RNG gods are against it), but it won't win like a Panther wins vs all other tanks, it will force it off a bit while getting out with 33% or less health on average (at least from my experience using it). It walks over OST P4.
It also does not need to trade with Panther. Panther is in a class of it's own and no tank should be similar to it. Probably the closest is Comet with it's price but it trades AT power and range for better AI cannon and utility (30 more armour, 160 less HP, more utility, no pintle MG, and other pros/cons).
I can't think of a single reason why E8 should not have a price increase with buffed armour or HP to 800.
I don't think anyone can deny that the E8 is great on paper. The commander is piss poor and it's in only one. But that is the problem with OKW, USF and UKF. Low commander count.
Without the buffs, it can only work in 1v1s where the risk of a snare is not that great, compared to teamgames where that extra 80 hp means nothing as most likely there will be one wild snare coming your way. Not to mention that the armour won't bounce paks or raketen, negating any sort of brawl in teamgames. Eg. Brummbar, panther can brawl. KVs and Churchills can sponge it, etc.
Esxile is right in a way. Either the doctrine needs to have some sort of 6CP+ abilities or the E8 should be a love child of a comet. A bit retarded doctrinal love child with worse stats and lower price
Well I had a huge reply that got deleted by this world class site, so lets try the abridged version...
I guess I dunno why the E8 has to be a straight up Panther or Comet for it to have value. I've never seen a complaint about the T-34-85 being an upgraded T-34 or the Ost P4J being an improved P4. I'm assuming your perspective is coming from a larger teamgame mode, where mediums struggle. If thats the case, I don't know if the E8 will ever be viable there. Even if we made it a straight up Panther clone, the Jackson would now be cheaper, longer ranged, and have more reliable penetration against the big cats. Furthermore, you would still feel obligated to take Infantry or a Calliope doc to fill the gaping holes in the stock USF roster over something you can already handle to a reasonable degree.
It may be that the E8 is just going to be a 1v1 or 2v2 unit. The way the game plays shifts dramatically depending on the mode, and that in turn changes the power level of lots of units.
I do agree that the doc is in desperate need of a rework though. I'm also a big proponent of more docs for USF / OKW / Brits, as there are too many units that only appear in a single doc and are often only good in a single mode.
It's important to think about opportunity cost when discussing doctrinal units. The Easy8 is good at AT, but it's not better than a Jackson, and the Easy8 is okay at anti-infantry capability, but it can't hold a candle to an HE Sherman. The Easy8 really only functions as an exceptional unit during the Medium phase of the game after you get your first tank, but before you get your second tank where it can function as both a discount Sherman and a discount Jackson until you round out your roster where you're pretty much breaking even with non-doc units.
On top of that, in order to go this doctrine at all, you're trading the current WC-51 and Cav Rifles, or Rangers, Pershing and Cheap Smoke, or Paratroopers and non-teched AT/50Cal or cheap Paratroopers+PackHowie for essentially Rifleman Oourah, Flares, and Sandbags. That trade is not even close to worth it in any of those instances.
My opinion on this is that if your infantry are doing well on the ground (getting into their vet 3 and 2nd BARs) it makes more sense to hard check the Axis mediums and soft check infantry (E8) rather than the other way around. (HE Sherman) Since you don't really want a Jackson that early, an E8 is a good way to accomplish this.
Additionally, you aren't really pushed into any direction for your 2nd tank. Another E8 is often fine, but a HE Sherman, Scott, or Jackson second all work fine with an E8 if the situation calls for it.
I do agree the doctrine is subpar though. I play with it every once in a while, and it doesn't have a ton of selling points compared to the alternatives. It burns 3 doctrinal points on infantry, but only one (sandbags) has any real impact and is available elsewhere. It needs some other impact units to give it a role.
These arguments feel to me a lot like what was said about the 76 a year ago when no one was using it either.
Statistically the unit is fine. It trades away a chunk of its anti infantry capability for best in class AT and toughness. A pair of E8s is every bit as capable as a Dozer Sherman + Jackson against all but some very niche threats.
The problem with all USF Shermans is that they have to compete with the very (cost) effective stock HE Sherman and Jackson. All the special variants are good on their own, but there's little reason to pick them over these two, outside of personal preference. Why take a risk with a brawler tank when a Jackson can safely snipe away from 60 range. It's not like USF desperately needs AI either with the excellent scaling of double BAR Rifles. At least the 76mm is seeing a bit more use lately.
As individually powerful as the HE Sherman and Jackson can be, flexibility does have its place. If the enemy isn't going higher than Medium Tanks (like in a lot of 1v1s) then the E8 can comfortable outduel the P4s, be more resilient to AT fire, and retain enough threat against infantry to consistently force them off points. Backed by the aforementioned lategame Riflemen, stronger AT options (76, E8) that can still force off infantry (unlike the Jackson) do at least make some sense.
I really think the doctrine lets this unit down more than anything else, and hope it gets reworked in the next patch. (And in a perfect world 1-2 new doctrines for USF / OKW / Brits as well, too many of their units are locked in single docs that only work well in 1v1 or team games.)
The E8s problems are being a bit overstated here.
Armor: 215 / 90
Penetration: 200 / 165 / 155
Reload: 6 - 6.6
AOE: 2 (0.88 OHKO radius)
PANZER IV AUSF J:
Armor: 234 / 90
Penetration: 125 / 115 / 110
Reload: 5.3 - 5.7
AOE: 2.5 (1.13 OHKO radius)
Armor: 160 / 80
Penetration: 160 / 140 / 120
Reload: 6 - 6.3
AOE: 2.5 (1.11 OHKO radius)
Compared to the other premium mediums, it stats up very favorably. Its far tougher than the P4J and has enough armor to realistically bounce shots unlike the T-34-85. (being able to bounce snares 25% of the time is also very relevant) Of the mediums tanks in the game, I would argue it is by far the most survivable, especially when you consider its built in smoke.
It also has the best penetration in its class combined with the lowest scatter to let it comfortably handle anything in the medium weight class. While its AT capabilities are being downplayed a bit in this thread, I'd happily take one against any Axis medium. (And as long as you are willing to get Jacksons, it will perform well as a flanker vs the bigger cats)
Of course, its toughness and AT strength have to come at a price, and the E8 pays for it in anti infantry capability. Its 1HKO radius ties it with the Cromwell for lowest in the game for medium tanks, which combined with its low rate of fire places it squarely on the bottom of the tier in terms of AI performance. How much of a problem this is is up to personal preference, as the scatter is low enough that it will consistently whittle down squads that try to ignore it and it does still have 3 MGs.
I personally feel the problems with the unit are more related to the doctrine than the unit. The E8 itself manages to fill enough of a niche that an improved Rifle Company or a new doctrine would bring it back into play. Modders that have tried to buff it (Miragefla and Sanders iirc) both quickly discovered that it can quickly turn into a 140 fuel Comet with only a few tweaks.
* I'd like to see 2 new docs for USF, OKW, and Brits, and 3-4 total reworks of existing docs in Ost and Soviets. For the first three, there are too many units that are present in only a single doc, and what works in a 1v1 or team game doesn't always work well in the other, leading to a lot of units getting sidelined. (E8, Priest, Pershing, M10, Greyhound, Assault Engineers, Calvary Riflemen, 76, 105) For the last two, there is way too many similar doctrines, or ones that are just plain terrible.
* I really want to see the Pershing in Armor over the 105. Assault Engineers would mean you wouldn't need to invest in extra REs late, and the M10 would help you cheaply stall for a heavy.
* Rifle Company really needs another impact unit. Units are the strongest thing you can put in docs, and it only has 1. It also burns 3 points on Riflemen, but shows almost no real improvement in combat capability for it besides the sandbags which are available elsewhere.
* I don't think Urbans RE Grenades are well designed, and should be swapped for a flamethrower. Rifle Grenades were a major part of US infantry firepower in WW2, but the implementation needs to be closer to the Grenadier version. I'd also like the 105 here instead of the dozer, but I think there would be way too much uproar about it to make that change.
* Recon Support's Raid Tactics is really unappealing. The Greyhound also needs a rethink as a unit. Its main gun is pitiful, and it leans way too hard on its massive HP pool and 50cal for damage.
* Outside of that, a lot of USF's calldowns are just...bad. P-47 Rocket Strafe is more expensive and less accurate than its peers. 240mm Barrage needs help. P-47 Strafe costs an insane amount of munitions. Smoke Barrage is more expensive than the Axis version and provides no scouting. Etc.
Gonna jump onto this bandwagon after playing them a bit yesterday.
Sprint gives you an 'I win' button for every early engagement, and the Assault Grens + MG42 give the opponent a lot of problems to contend with early on. (and many chances for mistakes) Sprint being dirt cheap and no LMGs to buy meant I had a ton of munitions for extra Tellers. PGrens give you another monster squad, and the fast 222 shuts down the fast LVs that normally punish snareless builds. The whole build rapidly snowballs into a fast Ostwind to close it out.
The build just gives an incredible amount of tempo and map pressure without slowing your tech down at all.
Can we make the icons for the Sherman HE and AP rounds more distinctive? I'm constantly having to check the tooltip to see which ammo I currently have selected.
Talking with some other USF players, this seems to be a common problem.
What scott lacks in alpha strike damage the werfer and stuka have, it more than makes up for in continuous bleed. What remains to be seen, once more people start playing it, whether the patch will kill it or do something about it. While I do not know who complained about scott being UP or OP, for such big reworks to hit it. Time will tell.
Right, the idea was to trade wiping potential for consistent bleed, thats fine. I just don't want them to kill it in this patch by turning into a glorified Mortar. Yes, abilities like WP is great, but it doesn't help you punish blobs, which is its intended function, not fighting weapon teams. You already have both the Mortar and the Pack to do that with.
Either let it do its job or else give us the Priest instead.